Can Art Heal the Soul?
Picasso once said: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Art has long been considered an evocative medium from which great statements can be made. A painting hanging in a gallery will never feel quite the same to two people, just as a large abstract sculpture casting lines of shadow across a crisp fall lawn may represent the rise of consumerism to one and a shady place to eat your lunch to another. But regardless of whether your art looks like Van Gogh or Oh-No, the power of the act has long been professed as having healing capabilities.
In @SoulPancake’s video “How Does Art Heal the Soul?” they put this theory to the test by inviting a scad of test-subjects. Each subject begins by entering a reflective state through a brief interview and questionnaire, and then has their body outlined for them to fill with paint. The first splash of paint is supposed to represent them-- their soul. All others are people or events that have shaped and influenced their lives. Does everyone create a masterpiece worthy of the Louvre? No. But the results that follow the experiment are indisputable. The magic seems not to be in the art itself, but rather, in the reflection following the act. Each test subject reports an 8-37% increase in happiness just from completing this tiny exercise.
What do you think? Do you think art can heal the soul? Today, grab some butcher paper or chalk on the sidewalk and ask a friend to outline your body. Then fill it in, representing all the people and events in and outside the lines that represent you. If you do it, take a picture and share it with us using the hashtag #myschoolmyway. We’d love to see it!
What does art mean to you?